Cookeville, TN asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Real Estate Law for Tennessee

Q: Two surviving children of my father that was married before he passed. Can I pay all unpaid property taxes...cont

In full and be able to obtain the current deed following payment? As well as claiming ownership?

2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: To address the unpaid property taxes and potentially claim ownership of the property as one of the surviving children of your father, you'll need to follow a specific legal process:

Pay Unpaid Property Taxes: You can pay the unpaid property taxes to bring the property current. Make sure to obtain receipts and documentation of the payments made.

Verify Ownership: To claim ownership, you should start by verifying the legal status of the property. This may require obtaining a copy of the current deed from the county recorder's office or land records department.

Consult an Attorney: It's advisable to consult with an attorney experienced in real estate and probate law in Tennessee. They can guide you through the process, ensuring all legal requirements are met.

Estate Settlement: If your father passed away without a will (intestate), the property may need to go through the probate process. An attorney can assist in determining the appropriate legal steps to take.

Identify Other Heirs: If there are other surviving children or heirs, their rights and interests in the property must be considered. The legal process will depend on the specific family and estate circumstances.

Quiet Title Action: If there are disputes over ownership or unresolved claims, you may need to file a quiet title action in court. This legal proceeding helps clear any clouds on the property title.

Legal Documents: Ensure that all transactions related to the property, including tax payments and potential deeds, are properly documented and filed with the relevant authorities.

Compliance with Local Laws: Be aware of local and state laws governing property ownership and taxation. An attorney will assist you in complying with these regulations.

Maintain Records: Keep detailed records of all transactions, payments, and legal documents related to the property for your protection.

Patience: Property ownership and legal processes can be complex and time-consuming. Be patient and work closely with your attorney to navigate the situation effectively.

Seeking legal counsel is crucial in this situation to ensure that you follow the correct legal procedures and protect your interests. An attorney can assess the specific circumstances of the property and guide you through the necessary steps to address unpaid taxes and potential ownership claims.

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Knoxville, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: Paying taxes does not give you title. Hire an attorney to search the title, and probably draft an Affidavit of Heirship as a source of title.

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